Staying Connected
Greetings everyone. Hope you all enjoyed a great weekend.

There is a super easy way to give to some nonprofits in the area. Thrivent is running a Give Thanks and Give Back Campaign. It's takes just about a minute to participate and is an awesome way to easily give a $25 dollar donation weather you're a Thrivent member or not.

All you have to do is fill out the survey and Thrivent will give the donation. This is not asking for you to give any money. Just a minute or two of your time to take the survey.

It's super easy to give here are the steps and details.

  • Click HERE TODAY - November 20th (or until the $75,000 pledge is met), fill out your information and choose up to two nonprofit organizations from the list provided. Our Thrivent Member Network board has thoughtfully selected organizations from across our region and has committed to follow up with them to build future engagement plans. 
  • Click submit.
  • Forward to your family and friends - even if they aren't Thrivent clients - to help make a difference. You can forward this email from Grace.

  • Each person can fill out the survey once.
  • Choose two organizations and each chosen will receive $25.
  • Thrivent Member Network - Two Rivers Region will give up to $75,000 total.
  • We need 3,000 people to fill out the survey and pick two nonprofit organizations to hit our $75,000 goal.
  • Give Thanks and Give Back.

List of nonprofits available to give thanks and give back to
  • Adult and Teen Challenge Rochester, MN area (Restoring hope to people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions)
  • Charis Ministry Partners/Necessities for Neighbors, Sioux Falls, SD area (Local outreach program to help our neighbors in need)
  • Collider (Supports entrepreneurs and small businesses in Rochester, MN area
  • Connections Ministry, Mankato, MN area (Diverse groups are served by this shelter, which also helps connect them to resources)
  • Farm Rescue (Helping family farms and ranches bridge crises providing opportunities to continue viable operations)
  • Feeding South Dakota (Supports over 250 nonprofit partner agencies across South Dakota)
  • Golds of Honor Foundation (Supports educational efforts of fallen soldiers across the nation)
  • Good Earth Village, Spring Valley, MN(a place for Christ-Centered retreat and community
  • Helpline Center of South Dakota (Connecting individuals to resources, support, and local agency volunteers, and offering hope to individuals with thoughts of suicide)
  • Lutheran Outdoors SD (Welcomes all to explore and experience Christ's love in Community and creation)
  • Multi-Cultural Center, Sioux Falls, SD area (providing experiences and services for all people to learn, celebrate, and share through our community's cultural diversity)
  • Patriot Assistance Dogs (Provide Training and service dogs to veterans in MN, SD, ND, IA, WI)
  • Salvation Army (We will split between MN & SD)
  • Second Harvest Heartland (Serving food shelves in southern MN)
  • South Dakota Voice for Peace (Working to create a SD where the fabric is rich, diverse and inclusive)

Amazon Smile
Many of us will be spending quite a bit more with online shopping this year. Amazon Smile is a great program that is run through Amazon that offer a way to give while also spending the money you were already going to anyways.

When not supporting and of the great local businesses (that also have online shopping options or curbside pick up) and you happen to be shopping on Amazon we encourage folks to check this out. When shopping through a web browser you can follow the link below and it's easy to set up. It's also super easy to get set up on a mobile device through the Amazon App. When signed into your account in the app in settings there is a section called "Programs and Features" in that sections you can click on AmazonSmile. I that section you can select your charity. You can search Grace Lutheran Church Mankato or type 41-6006451.

When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Grace Lutheran Church. Bookmark the link  and support us every time you shop.

You still get the same prices and you can still use your Prime account, but when you start by using this link above, Amazon will donate a portion of the price back to Grace.

Thanks for supporting Grace in this new and easy way!
Marian Hemingsen
Marian Mae Hemingsen, age 87, of Mankato, passed away on Friday, November 6, 2020 at Hillcrest Healthcare Center in Mankato.

Due to COVID-19 the family will be holding a private service. Please share a memory of Marian with her family online at

Marian was born January 3, 1933 in Montevideo, MN to Harry and Minnie (Mork) Wigen.

She graduated from Boyd High School. Marian married Donald Hemingsen on February 5, 1956 in Boyd, MN. They later moved to Dawson, MN where they raised their family before relocating to Mankato. Marian was a homemaker and worked at the Dawson Nursing Home as a nurse assistant. In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening, working on crossword puzzles, spending time with family and friends, volunteering at the Echo Food Shelf and at Church Functions. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church.

Marian is survived by her children, Steven (Mona) of Jacksonville, FL, Debra (Jim) Knutson of Mankato, and Michael (Candee) of St. Joseph, MO; daughter-in-law, Donna (Tim) Hemingsen-Kleppe of Cokato, MN; 8 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Mildred and Renee Hemingsen; and brother-in-law, Chris (Mary Ann) Hemingsen.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald in 2012; son, Brian in 1991; infant grandson; and grandson, Bryan in 2012.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff of Hillcrest Healthcare Center and Mayo Clinic Hospice for their compassionate love and care.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family prefers memorials be directed to either Hillcrest Healthcare Center or Mayo Clinic Hospice.
In-Person Worship at Grace
It is great once again to host in-person worship here at Grace. We hope to see you all again in the future. Below are a reminder of the guidelines put in place to allow us to be able to have worship together at Grace.

  • Masks are requited in the building for everyone participating.
  • We have blocked off rows to ensure that there is at least 6 feet between households and we will have ushers to help people find open seats. If you would like to help usher, please contact the church office.
  • The congregation will not be singing for now, but we will have some music preformed as part of worship in as safe a way as possible.
  • Communion will be distributed to each pew rather than people getting up during worship.

These and other changes will help us worship together as safely as possible, and we will review these policies as time moves on and new best practices are discovered.

For those who do not yet feel comfortable attending in person, we will continue to have worship posted online as it has been since March. We will have that option available for the foreseeable future so that everyone knows they have a place with us. We were able to get our in-house worship live-streamed on Facebook this last week we're hoping this will all all to participate together in the same worship service wherever we worship from. We will also be continuing to have worship live on KTOE and rebroadcasted on KTV weekly.
Advent at Grace
Keep on the look out for some exciting stuff happening for advent this year. Things are going to look very different but we're excited about what's going to be happening.
Need Help w/ Zoom?
With Covid numbers going up up we know a lot of families are probably going to be looking at getting together differently for the holidays. Not being able to see family could be a tough thing. We'd like to try and make that a bit easier on you if you're thinking about using Zoom to see each other.

If you've waiting to try and use Zoom because it can be a bit confusing at time we invite you to get a hold of Ben here at Grace. Ben's not an expert at all with zoom but can defiantly help enough to get things set up on your device and test things out to see how they work. You can call the office to get a hold of Ben or send an email at to set up a time.
Desk Available
We still have one desk available for anybody who may want it. Pastor Scott's Old desk is still available. It is currently disassembled in the choir room. If you interested in having the desk or just looking at it you can contact the church office.

We'll have this desk available for another couple weeks before we fine somewhere to have it donated too.
Family Advent Event @ Grace
We are holding a very special 4 week advent family event here at Grace. We will have the chance to gather together each Sunday of Advent where we will have Crafts and Activities to go along with a lesson for the whole family. Each week will have a different theme. Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. If you can't attend every week that's ok. Lessons and Crafts supplies can be provided for weeks not attending.

Each Sunday we will gather in the fellowship hall at 1:30p.m. 

If there is lots of interest in event we will have to have a second time because of space limits in the fellowship hall.

There will be a virtual option to participate in Advent Event. Materials and content can be provided to you or your family for the virtual option.

Week One - Hope. November 29th 2020
Week Two - Peace. December 6th 2020
Week Three - Joy. December 13th 2020
Week Four - Love. December 20th 2020

There is no cost to attend but you can give a free will donation to help cover the cost of the craft supplies.

All ages are invited to attend. All are welcomed!

Masks will need to be worn while in the building at Grace and tables will be set up for family groups.

Let us know you're joining us and sign up below.
While we are not yet meeting on a regular basis for children PreK - 6th Grade we do want to make weekly lessons available online. You can access the weekly lessons we would be doing by clicking the links below. There are great activities that can be done as a family together. We will be holding special events for youth and families that feel comfortable meeting together at Grace. We will also have virtual options to participate in these events.
Our hope this year is that we can build a lot of fellowship as we find creative ways to safely gather as we learn more about the ways God is working in this world.

For more details about events or would like to get involved please reach out to Ben or Pastor John and we'll be sure to get you in the loop on everything you need to know.

November/December Confirmation Schedule
  • November 18  – Service Night @ MY Place Mankato 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 25 - No Confirmation. Thanksgiving Break
  • December 2  – Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 9 - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 16th - Fellowship Night @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • December 23 and 30th - No Confirmation Winter Break
High School
As high schoolers are now back in school and adjusting to a very different looking school year I invite them to join me at Grace for some middle of the week refocus Wednesday nights. All High School youth are invited to attend and bring friends. During this time we'll have a chance to share highs and low and do a short devotion and just hang out. Youth can meet in the Youth Room at Grace(formally known as the children's chapel).

  • November 18  – Service Night @ MY Place Mankato 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 25 - No Youth Group. Thanksgiving Break
  • December 2  – Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 9 - Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 16th - Fellowship Night @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • December 23 and 30th - No Youth Group Winter Break
If anybody has questions about youth and family ministry opportunities or would like to help out leading any activities please reach out to Ben. You can call directly any time at 507-524-3254 or send an email to
Zoom Thursday night
Bible Study
"The Greatest Stories Ever Told"

Join us Thursday November 19th 8:00pm

All Are Welcome!
As a community of Christ we share in each others joys and pains. Before we dive into the word each week we share we share our joys and pains with each other using the Rose Analogy.

  • We look for the Rose in our lives - A highlight, success, small win or something positive that's happening.

  • We look for a Thorn in our lives - A challenge you are experiencing or something you can use more support with.

  • And we look for the Bud in our lives - A new Idea that has bloomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing


This Week

We'll be looking at Matthew 18:21-35

"The Unforgiving Servant"

One thing to be thinking about coming into the bible study is:
As a group make a list of thoughts, feelings and beliefs which create barriers to fully forgiving another person.


Thursday Bible Study

Zoom Meeting ID 857 5766 8823

Time 8:00 pm Thursday
Every week will have the same meeting ID
Mark your Calendars
November 19, 2020-The Unforgiving Servant Matthew 18: 21-35
November 26, 2020-No Bible Study
December 3, 2020-The Widow & the Judge Luke 18: 1-8
December 10, 2020-The Wheat & the Weeds Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43
December 17, 2020-Parables of Money & Self-Worth Matthew 19:16-20:16
December 24, 2020-No Bible Study
December 31, 2020-No Bible Study
January 7, 2020-The Wise & Foolish Virgins Matthew 24: 36 -25: 13
January 14, 2020-Parable of the Talents Matthew 24: 14-30
January 21st-The Pharisee & the Tax Collector Luke 18: 9-14
January 28, 2020-Parable of the Rich Fool Luke 12: 13-21
February 4 2020-No Bible Study
February 11, 2020-The Rich Man & Lazarus Luke 16: 19-31
In-Person Bible Study

An email will be going out soon to the folks that have signed up that have had interest in our bible study Couples of the Old Testament. Thanks for those that have had interest in it. Be on the look out for more opportunities and all are always welcome to join us Thursday nights over zoom for our current bible study on Parables.
Worshiping Together Virtually
We hope since March you've been able to continue to find a way to worship with us all at Grace. With the many platforms out there we hope you've been able to find one or a few that has been able to bring you comfort during these tough times. We acknowledge that all may not feel comfortable going for in-person worship here at Grace(and that's alright) so we want to continue to provide opportunities to worship virtually. As we've been working on ways to be able to stream and record worship live we'll have them posted through this newsletter weekly so if you can't watch live you can watch when the time is best for you.

If you don't have Facebook the worships will still be available on KTOE Sunday mornings at 10:00 and the rebroadcast on KTV. We will also continue to share the link to where they can be found on YouTube. Our goal is that everyone will still have an opportunity to worship with Grace.
November 15, 2020 Worship
We're confidents our kinks with our livestream are mostly resolved. If you notice anything goofy with things live on Facebook Sunday mornings please let us know and we'll continue to be sure the best quality worship is available for those that can't be with us in person here at Grace.
Communion Available
You can now bring communion home with you. Pre-consecrated elements are available at the church. You can stop in to pick it up and bring home to have during service on Sunday morning. If you can't make it in let us know and we can bring it to you and drop off during the week.

If you'd like also you can make your own communion bread at home. Check out the link below for a great recipe.

Christ in our Home
Many of you may be unable to get a copy of Christ In Our Home from the church as you normally would.

During this time we are making it available to you digitally, paper copies are still available at Grace and can be picked up. If you stop to pick one up please do wear a mask while in the church building.
Serving the Community
A few years ago Grace was able to host Connections Shelter in the building here at Grace. The shelter now has a permanent home at First Presbyterian Church. Although we will not be hosting folks here at Grace we can still help in a big way. We've had interest in continuing to provide meals to them. They're open to us providing meals for them once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. They'd be happy with whatever we can provide to help feed the folks out that are staying there. We're looking to form a team or even a few teams that would be willing to help prepare and serve meals for the shelter. We have a few people interested in helping lead these efforts but anybody interested please contact Ben and we can get everybody connected.

Due to Covid meals will be plated individually for the rooms rather than how they have been done in the past as family/buffet style. They have enough beds at the shelter for 35 people so meals will be for no more than that.

There are many ways to help out the shelter besides proving meals for them. You can sign up to help as Morning and Evening Greeters, Hospitality and meal team. Connections team will doing background checks on all volunteers that sign up. You can sign up by clicking the link below.

MY Place. Mankato Youth Place. - Confirmation and High School students will have the chance to volunteer with some service projects at MY Place on November 18th. Be on the look out here to find more information in the future on ways that Grace can be more active in service for this great place.

Echo Food Shelf - Echo is currently looking for volunteers to commit to one 2-4 hour shift/week. You can email to get involved.

CADA House - Committee Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. (CADA) is a nonprofit victim advocacy and emergency shelter organization based in Mankato, Minnesota. CADA’s mission is to provide safety and support to victims of domestic and sexual violence through education, advocacy, and shelter.
You can check out the latest Newsletter for CADA by Clicking HERE
Fair Trade Coffee
Missing fellowship after service and the delicious fair trade coffee? All fair trade/organic coffee is now $7 a bag, including our fellowship blend. It's a course ground blend perfect for French press!  

Your choice of Sisters' Blend, Love Buzz, Breakfast Blend, Mind Body and Soul, And Fellowship Blend now only $7 a bag.  

Stop by the church office to get yours today!
Did you Fair Trade is so much more than Coffee??? There's tea, chocolate and even olive oil all available here at the church. Next time you're at Grace check it out!
Find more information about Mankato Fair Trade Products and their Mission by clicking the link below

Pray Together
Lord God,

Thank you for the gifts you continue to give us. Help us to be able to pass those gifts onto others that they may be able to glorify you as well.
Check out this Video!
I'm pretty sure I've shared this one before but it's just a great song and somedays we could use a smile a bit more than others.
Smile by Sidewalk Profits
Contact Us
Rev. John Odegard -

Director of Spiritual Growth

Parish Administrator
Rich Krause -

Office Specialist
Joan Hertel -

Interim Organist and Music Director
Chuck Hoogland -

Worship and Media Technology Coordinator

Maintenance and Grounds
Jordin Johnson -

Is there news you're wanting to have included in future staying connected newsletters? Reach out to Ben with the details and he'll be sure to included in an upcoming newsletter. New newsletters are emailed out every Monday and can also be found on Facebook or the Webpage under the At Home Resources tab.